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The River Ghost - Spoken word pella

uploaded: Thu, Sep 12, 2019 @ 7:34 PM last modified: Thu, Sep 12, 2019 @ 7:37 PM  (add)
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Here’s the spoken word pella for my “Human that got away” fishing bedtime ghost story.

Two files uploaded ; a wet mp3 and a dry flac for remixing.

Below the words; the remix against Speck’s moody backing is here

“The River Ghost”

Act 1 The Hunt

The last of the moon set beyond the mountain behind me
as I pulled my kayak down the slip
into the inky black water of the river.

As I paddled quietly out into the dark,
my expectations of catching a fish were low;
No bait on hand, just a small spin rod,
spun with light line and hardbody lure,
I positioned myself next to the hulk of an old fishing boat rotting on its mooring.

I looked back across the water towards my house.
I could make out the dim glow of the television -
as my wife watched old reruns of the Gilmore Girls.

After a few casts
and playing with the bioluminescence on the river surface that traced around each paddle stroke -
I felt a small tap at the end of my fishing line…
Then nothing…
I reeled it in and cast at the same point in the water and waited….
There it is again…

Tap tap.

Then a bend of the rod, followed by a dead weight.
Damm I cursed!
(thinking that I had snagged on the fishing boat’s mooring weight)
I pulled the line gingerly,
testing the snag
and the water in front of me exploded!


My line screamed out of the reel
and I tentatively applied the brakes
being careful not to snap my feeble ten pound line.

Within seconds whatever beast I had met that night
spun my kayak around
and was beginning to drag me down the river into the darkness towards the deeper water near the island.

My reel kept on screaming like I had hooked up to a freight train.

At this point I was being towed at about running speed
out into the darkness away from home.

Act 2 The Fight

After about twenty minutes of ever so carefully winding in the line,
then loosing the same again to the fish,
I had been towed about a mile out past the oyster lease and around the back of the island.
I looked over my shoulder sheepishly,
no longer able to see the comforting lights of home.

Within the next ten minutes as carefully and patiently as possible,
I began to gain some line over what was at the other end.
Maybe a shark? A big Stingray? Or maybe the fabled Hawkesbury River Monster?

I saw the leader knot on my line
and knew that I was just moments away
from seeing what had taken me so far away from home in the middle of the night.

My arms ached and I screwed my head to the right
to try to illuminate the darkeness with my underpowered headlamp.

Act 3 Contact

First the smell…

Then a flash of chrome to my port side!
(I reached foward for my landing net, but then laughed at myself
realising that the fish’s head wouldnt even fit in the opening)

I reeled in the last of my line
and up beside me,
on his side,
with his eye as round as a saucer -
Was the fish that many on the river had tried a lifetime never to catch.

It was a Mulloway.
The river ghost, about the same size as me.

His sliver bronze armour glistened in the low light
and his eye looked up at me with a knowing I had never seen before in a fish.

Without a proper net or a gaff
the only way to land this fish was to reach into his mouth or gills
and bear hug him up into the kayak.

Not entirely a good idea I conceded,
capsizing over a mile from home,
in the darkness wasn’t very smart.

I decided against it.

I’m sure it was only a few seconds but time slowed right down
and we both surveyed each other,
in the silence,
in wonder of the strange creature we both saw.

Then with a deep guttural grunt
and a small flick of the tail,
the River Ghost spat my lure,
paused for a moment to take one last look at me
and turned downward into the deep never to be seen again.

Act 4 Perspective

As I paddled back towards my home completely spent,
my heart beating through my chest,
my fingers bloody from holding the line
I was glad that I didn’t catch him.

He would have been much older than me,
and he had spent the last fifty years dodging every likely fisherman on the river
only to be fooled by a department store lure no bigger than a jelly bean.
..and a fool…

Oh the River Ghost!

Some nights I sit on my wharf alone staring into the blackness
and I am sure I have seen him again,
a stealthy splash of his dorsal fin,
trying to take another look -
at that human that got away.

Scomber 2019 xx

"The River Ghost - Spoken word pella"
by ScOmBer

2019 - Licensed under
Creative Commons
Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

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